The Scottish suckler cow industry needs a return to coupled subsidies to maintain any sort of critical mass the, according to ANM Group’s chief executive Brian Pack.

Speaking at the Semex Dairy Conference, Glasgow, 15 January, Mr Pack said that without some form of direct support the supply of quality beef from Scottish farms would collapse.

He believed this needed to be in the region of £100 a cow.

To provide a return which enabled farmers to earn a living and invest in their farms, Mr Pack said they would need to earn an extra 45p/kg deadweight.

“But the market simply can’t stand that level of price increase and that still wouldn’t cover many of the hidden costs. So, some form of direct subsidy is essential,” he said.

“The Irish government have found a way of achieving this within the CAP rules, so surely we can too,” added Mr Pack.